Marlin Model xt 22: Good potential bad execution

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by sharpie443, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. sharpie443

    sharpie443 Member

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    I had one of these guns fall into my lap recently and although I’m happy I got it for free I thought I would put my thought about it out there in a review.

    I would say the upside of this rife is that it is quite actuate. The trigger is great and at 25 yards I was getting very good groups. After the video I spent some time sighting it in and was able to hit my 4” steel plate at 50 yards without much of a problem. This rifle had Marlins micro groove rifling witch I have found works very well and I absolutely love my Marlin model 25Mn in .22 mag with micro groves. This rifle has a lot of potential and I honestly think that it could be competing on the market with higher priced rifles.
    The down side the rifle suffers for the same problem other new production Marlin have. The Details and finish work are not good on it and it looks like they went cheap out on some things. The stock sights are absolutely terrible for starts and I can’t see why they couldn’t spend a few bucks more for a sight capable of easy fine tuning. I would love to see a Lyman peep sight on it but anything would work. They sight they have on it now is just about the cheapest sight you could find. The rifle is tapped for a scope but I don’t use a scope for small game hunting and I prefer to target shoot with iron and peep sights. So this is a drawback to and I will probably end up putting a Lyman peep sight on it.

    The dig disappointment for me is the bolt throw is absolutely terrible. It feels like they did not smooth out the receiver making for a very gritty feeling and causes it to stick. It’s also very hard to close to keeping your sight picture while working the bolt is not possible. I have old Mossberg .22 rifles that I caught for $100 that feel 10x better than this new production gun.

    Granted It is only a $200 gun however what bothers me is like any of marlins products this gun has a lot of potential. They have cheeped out on the details and basic finish work just save a few bucks when they could be selling this rifle for more and it would be worth it if they just invested a bit more into the rifle. Thy have a great rifle they just gave on paper they just dropped the ball in manufacturing mostly in the finish work. It’s they ran a marathon and gave up in the last half mile because that was good enough.

     
  2. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

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    Marlin also knows most gun owners buying inexpensive rifles in that price category tend
    to prefer to work on their rifles themselves...in that price range, its one step over
    buying used...and we all know how used rifles usually need a bit of love ;)

    And usually, you have to clean the rifle out before taking it to the range...
    all manufacturing gunk & grit needs to be cleaned out...

    So you sit in front of the tv during a football game or two,
    and work the bolt for a few hours with some toothpaste in there...
    smooth as silk after ;)

    Marlin used to have a lovely adjustable target sight...I retrofitted them to all my rifles
    when Numrich had 'em...if they ever pop up again, I'd buy more :)
     

  3. HenryFrapp

    HenryFrapp New Member

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    I think it's good they put that type sight on them to help keep price down. Not everyone is the same. One person may want a scope, the next person a peep sight, the next a buckhorn sight etc...
    My 983T's bolt is pretty smooth. I'm sure your bolt will smooth out with use or do like Big Shrek suggested. A little cleaning, polishing, cleaning & lube.
     
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry guys but Marlin is on the bottom of my list of guns to own. I had a 357 lever whose accuracy was terrible, back in the 1980's. I traded a friend a new 357 Mag lever gun, either the Winchester 94 or the equivalent Marlin, for a Winchester 92 I lusted after. More on that gun in a moment. He chose the Marlin and it too was inaccurate. The fit and finish was more utilitarian but at that time so was the USA made Winchester 94. I also had a semi-auto Marlin in 9mm in the 1980's that was very inaccurate. So three bad Marlins put me off on them.

    The Winchester I though I was getting was a 32-20 in museum quality condition. But it turns out it had been re-finished years before (an absolutely excellent job I might add) and converted to 357 Mag which we found out at the range when we loaded it with 32-20 as mocked on the barrel. The fired case looked like a ballon! But the conversion was never completed as 357 Mag cartridges would not feed out of the magazine tube. The case guides on the inside of the wall of the receiver were never replaced or modified for the different case shape of the 357Mag case. The guns was re-finished, converted to 357 Mag, and never shot. I suspect it was done a long time ago as there was a time when you could get these guns for $50. But there was no 32-20 or 44-40 ammo so they got converted to 357 and 44. I had seen this done back in the 1960's. A friend had one converted. In fact I bought a Winchester Model 94 in 32 Special back then for $50 and had about 10 such rifles in the rack to choose from. Seems no one wanted lever guns any more.

    But the gun is beautiful, operates smoothly, is accurate, is fun to shoot and has no collector value...my kind of gun! I have several other Winchester and Browning lever gun of various models and I love this one as I do all the others. So I won. But my friend lost based on his decision to go with a Marlin rather than a Winchester.

    LDBennett
     
  5. Huffmanite

    Huffmanite Member

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    Own 6 Marlin rifles. One is a M99M1 22 LR I bought around 1967. It was my squirrel hunting rifle and quite good for it. Still have it.

    Own several of the Marlin X rifles. Probably bought one of the earliest XL7 25-06 rifles sold in Houston, Tx area. Liked it so much, would later purchase a Marlin XS7 Heavy Barrel in 308 , then a 7mm-08 X rifle and the heavy barrel .223 rifle. Decent rifles, or I would not own 4 of them. Don't particularly care for plastic stocks and do woodworking......all four are now in stocks I've made for them that's more suitable for shooting from benchrest than hunting. Have not hunted in a long time, just visit a range I'm a member to shoot paper two or so days a week, weather permitting. Consider it a darn shame that Freedom Group/Remington has decided to cease production of the Marlin X rifles.

    As to the Marlin XT22, own one too. Decent bolt action 22 rifle. Didn't care for its plastic stock, so made one for it too. While its more accurate than my four semi-auto 22 rifles, the scoped M99M1 is close to it in accuracy. Chuckle, my scoped XT has a problem outshooting my 70+ year old BSA model 12 Target 22 rifle that I use in 50yd iron sight competitions at range I'm a member.
     
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  6. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

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    The only difference between the XT22 & the older 25-series/880/980-series is the Pro-fire trigger,
    the stock, AND the fit...
    sadly, i'd rather have one from pre-2005 than a new one...

    That's it. Really. Everything else is the same.
    On the upside, it means that you can do a fluff & buff, pillar bed 'em, and they'll rock :)
    Personally I prefer to stick 'em in Boyd's wood stocks...lotsa nifty options there!!
    Can't stand the plastic stocks...


    Marlins do tend to be rather picky as far as ammo...
    Fat Bullets work best...so your centerfire jacketed/ or .22lr copper washed are usually
    the best choices...wider is better for Microgroove barrels :)
    12 lands & grooves, but shorter rise, means skinny bullets don't grip for squat...
    which affects seal & precision...seal's kinda important for semi-auto cycling...
    so bullet choice really is very important for those micro-groove rifles :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  7. bamajoey

    bamajoey Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine has an older 39M that seems to be really accurate if you can pull the trigger:rolleyes:. Is there anything that is easily done to reduce trigger pull, and not have misfires? He changed some springs but had misfires, so he changed the springs back and corrected the problem.:)
     
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    A good experienced gunsmith can do a trigger job on just about anything. The trigger system on the 39M is very simple. The trigger engages in a shelf on the hammer. Pulling the trigger slides the trigger off the hammer shelf of the hammer and the hammer is propelled by the hammer spring.

    The angles on the hammer shelf and the trigger must be such that the hammer pulls the trigger back into the hammer during release. The result of that is as you pull the trigger the hammer moves to the rear before the trigger falls off the shelf. A trigger pull is fighting with the hammer spring to some degree and must for a safe trigger but it is all about to what degree.

    A good trigger gunsmith will change the angles on the hammer and trigger but still leave them safe. He will reduce how far the trigger engages into the hammer shelf. And he will stone the engagement surface to smooth them and then polish them. He may reduce the trigger return spring force too. There is no reason this can not be done with a safe gun in mind.

    There are lots of gunsmiths that work on Cowboy action shooter's guns. The rifles used are lever guns like the 39M but in bigger calibers. I am sure one of them would take on the 39M to get a safe but lighter pull with less creep.

    Do not attempt this without the proper tools and knowledge. All the stoning has to be straight and exactly perpendicular. There must be a minimum amount of engagement and that is critical. Get the angles wrong and the trigger system is ruined. In some guns those are restricted parts and only gunsmiths can buy replacements.

    LDBennett
     
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  9. flyingtiger85

    flyingtiger85 Well-Known Member

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    I was going to buy the XT-22 magnum stainless at Sportsmans Warehouse but I bought the American Ruger 22 Magnum instead.I handled it one last time at the gun counter before I asked to start the paperwork on the Ruger.It was close!The bolt was fast and smooth on the Marlin I must say.
     
  10. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

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    For that, I'd take it to a Professional Gunsmith of Good Reputation for a trigger job.
    Granted, many DIY those, but if one is not familiar with the work,
    a really nice rifle can get screwed up...and you don't want that.
    The $50-80 will be worth it.

    If affordability is an issue, start with a simple hand-polish...
    take a 000 steel wool, and clean/polish the mating surfaces...
    simply get them really clean& shiny...should make an improvement...
    as most older rifles are usually dirty/rusty/gunky inside.
    Chances are that'll help the trigger and everything else.
    NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE A DREMEL FOR THIS.
    Gunsmiths love dremel users, they make a fortune off them.
     
  11. bamajoey

    bamajoey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks LD and Shrek, I'll let him know what you folks said.:)
     
  12. accident

    accident Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Shrek,I really liked this part of your post and I'm sure it's all too true.
     
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  13. CCHolderinMaine

    CCHolderinMaine Well-Known Member

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    I have a XT22 in WMR that I bought new about 3 years ago. Agree completely on the sights ( I put a scope on) and some of the cheap feeling finish choices. However, I must've gotten lucky, my bolt feels pretty smooth.
     
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  14. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

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    I'm fond of a little valve-lapping compound & working the bolt while watching a good gun show ;)

    As my other addiction is antique motorcycles, always have a can around for use...
    digital calipers and other oddball Britbike/Yamaha tools...
     
  15. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

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    I hate to tell you how many jobs I have gotten from people that want to work on there own guns.
    If you are not familiar with what you want done then I would say DO NOT DO IT.
    It ALWAYS cost more after you mess it up and take it to a gunsmith.
    As for the marlin.
    You get what you pay for.
    Mike
     
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